Hannah & James
Hannah & James

Wow. We've covered some ground - France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and back to France - all in just a few weeks.

In the last 19 days we have skied three mountains not even on our radar before we set out on our motorhome ski adventure, and this we've decided, is the whole point of a road trip.


Unexpected changes in plans (climatic events, visiting friends and invitations out of the blue) have encouraged what was already a loose kind of plan to evolve and morph on a near daily basis!


We'd always planned to come through Switzerland and Austria as we neared the end of the season with the ultimate goal of ending up in Innsbruck for our last hurrah and to end the adventure in a knees-up, Austrian style. However, an invitation to a ski industry event in Tyrol in early March provided us with an opportunity of a complete change of scene and we set about a two-week trundle across the Alps to reach the western Austrian state in time to park up ready for a week of work!

What a whirl wind this time has been!


Dropping in on a UNESCO World Heritage Site (by accident because it seemed to be vaguely en route) to ski one of the most famous off-piste areas in Italy to the 'Beast from the East' forcing us down from our high-altitude camp in Switzerland's Aletsch Arena.


On recommendation from a friend, we took refuge from the Siberian monster that caused so much trouble in the UK, in a little place called Baveno on Lake Maggiore - from which we could reach so many small ski areas, enough to keep any skier entertained for at least a few days in each.


As soon as the snow came we knew the worst of the weather had passed so we hot-footed it to Austria the long way around... through the world-famous Engadin Valley - location for two Winter Olympics amongst countless other bonkers sporting events - Ice Polo anyone?


Our ultimate destination on this leg of the trip was Galtür - this year playing host to the Snow Industries of Great Britain ski test. How did we come to be in this town?!  

Well this is the beauty of a road trip. Things evolve and opportunities arise and both James and I were invited to this stunning Austrian village to participate in an event that will remain up there as one of the highlights of this adventure.


I have been writing for Fall-Line Skiing magazine for several months and when the call came in to find out if we could make it to Austria for the test, we dropped everything and chucked any plans we had at the wall. During this event we were part of a ten-strong team charged with testing as many as possible from over a thousand of the most snazzy skis produced for next season's snow bunnies. What a riot! It was in fact hard work, but what a huge privilege to be testing alongside the very best skiers in the world including the charismatic and very brilliant Graham Bell; ski patrollers from the Scottish Highlands; and ski instructors from The Jump to name a few.


Following a crazy week, and with a feeling that we hadn't covered nearly as much of France as we'd have liked this time round, we have decided to leg it back to the southern Alps and continue with our journey here for the remainder of the season. Austria deserves our undivided attention and that's gone in the 2018/19 planning book which is already starting to fill up!


3 important things we've learned about road tripping in a motorhome


  • 1. You don't need a plan. Carrying your home on your back is one of the most freeing circumstances you can find yourself in.


  • 2. You can react to circumstances outside of your control with relative ease and little disruption - the Beast from the East was no match for us - we simply moved house!


  • 3. Your priorities can change - originally, we were in a numbers game with ourselves - how many ski areas could we visit in a season? Our list was insane. We have in fact visited very few areas on our original list at all and have focused on what we now call 'little hills' - the places where you find local people skiing or hidden gems with few touristy facilities but indescribable character.


Limiting beliefs


We are not seasoned motorhomers by any stretch of the imagination. We have however taken on a challenge that many would consider too uncomfortable - snow, cold, winters and long-term travel.


If there's even a small part of you that fancies throwing caution to the wind and taking on an adventure like ours, you don't have to stick it all on black. We're in a unique position - few people can up sticks and take 6 months out of work and run away from family and life commitments to travel around in a motorhome. But you can jump in your van and head up to Scotland this weekend! Snow conditions like these have not been experienced in decades and it's on your doorstep. Let's be honest, winter's in the UK are somewhat bleak.


We know that in England in particular we're not equipped to deal with arctic winter conditions and all that brings but everyone said that about our motorhome too - not necessarily designed for deep winter touring but yet here we are, nearly three months in to one of the most brutal winter's Europe has seen in our lifetimes.


Limiting beliefs will restrict your travelling. If you want to experience the joys of waking up feet deep in snow and breathing winter mountain air, give it a go. There is nothing better. We have not been without the odd drama - find us a motorhomer who has had an event free winter trip and we'll eat humble pie but as yet, we've not met a single one!


So, grab your wet weather kit, get to Argos and grab a sledge, chuck it in your motorhome and head north - or wherever the mood takes you!


If you're yet to enter the world of motorhome ownership, perhaps today's the day to visit a dealer. But be warned, life will never be the same again!